Billionaire philanthropist and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced he will be making a $100 million gift to support black doctors in the United States at four historically Black medical schools.
The recipients will be: Meharry Medical College, Howard University College of Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.
The gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies is the largest in the histories of these institutions and intend to help increase the number of African American doctors in the United States by helping to reduce the debt burden of approximately 800 medical students who face increased financial pressure due to COVID-19.
Currently only 5% of practicing physicians in the United States are African American, while 13% of the U.S. population identifies as Black/African American. Additionally, data shows that African American patients have better outcomes with African American doctors, because they are more inclined to take their medical advice.
Bloomberg’s gift will allow the medical school to provide scholarships up to $100,000 to almost every medical student currently enrolled and receiving financial aid over the next four years.
Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg LP, and three-term mayor of New York stated, “COVID-19 has been especially devastating for the Black community, and the scarcity of Black doctors practicing in Black communities is one reason for it…More Black doctors will mean more Black lives saved and fewer health problems that limit economic opportunity in Black communities.
“During my campaign for president, I proposed a set of bold policies—which we called the Greenwood Initiative — to increase generational wealth among Black families and shrink the racial wealth gap. The commitment Bloomberg Philanthropies is making today is just the first step we will take to bring that work to life.”
Each medical school will determine the eligibility requirements for its recipients. In 2020, over 50% of all students enrolled at all four institutions received financial aid.
“Meharry graduates overwhelmingly choose to go into primary care so they can make the largest impact on the most people,” said Dr. James Hildreth, President and CEO of Meharry Medical College. “But primary care, particularly in rural areas, does not provide the same level of financial security as other medical specialties.”
“This transformative gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies will significantly ease the burden of debt for our students, allowing them to make the decision of what and where they practice based on passion, not a paycheck.”
Source: Good News Network